Chilliwack Chiefs coach Brian Maloney embraces history with renamed arena

Corporate branding is gone and Maloney says Chilliwack Coliseum v2 is a tribute to the original.

In an era where every sports arena in North America has a corporate name attached to it, Brian Maloney likes that Chilliwack is going against the grain.

No Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, Ohio), KFC Yum! Centre (Louisville, Kentucky) or Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium (Grand Chute Wisconsin).

And no more Prospera Centre.

We’re going back to the past with a retro-rebranding, and the rebirth of the Chilliwack Coliseum.

“I think the people of Chilliwack have a lot of fond memories of the old coliseum and the atmosphere that came along with it,” said Maloney, who captained the Chiefs in 1998-99 and appreciated the experience enough to have the captain’s dressing room stall from the old arena installed in his current office. “I had the pleasure of playing in that arena and that’s where it all started for me before I went off to school.

“We have a lot of the same fans around from when I played, and we’re hoping people jump on board with the renaming.”

Early reaction to the name change has been positive, but Maloney expects there will be some longtime fans who shake their fists at the new Coliseum and say, ‘There can only be one!’

“We brought that up a lot during these discussions, but when it comes down to it, we think of this as a tribute to the old Coliseum,” Maloney said. “When people come to the arena now, we want them to remember the old building, and we have plans to hopefully put pictures of the old Coliseum up around the place.”

Maloney, in fact, wants to go beyond pics of the former arena.

“I’ve got a huge soft spot for this community and I think there’s a lot of other great things going on Chilliwack outside of hockey,” he said. “If we can add pictures of our mountains and lakes and rivers and farmer fields — if we can get that Chilliwack vibe, that’s the idea and vision that I have and I think City Council is on board with that as well.

“Chilliwack is growing but it still has that small-town feel to it, and the new and old Coliseums are a huge part of that.”

Maloney’s primary day-to-day task is coaching a bunch of 16 to 20 year olds who have no concept about what the original Chilliwack Coliseum was.

The name change isn’t likely to resonate with his Chiefs, but that doesn’t mean there’s an opportunity for education.

“I do have current players asking about the old stall in my office and the pictures of the old Coliseum that I have on my walls, and I do tell stories,” he said. “I probably over-exaggerate on a lot of them, but I like reminding these young players about how hockey was played in Chilliwack.

“Maybe I’ll have to invite former Chief Chad Nelson, the father of our current Chief Clark Nelson, down to tell the boys some of his stories.”

l The Chiefs home opener is Sept. 20 versus the defending champ Prince George Spruce Kings.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

Child sex offender relocated from Princeton after newspaper reveals his proximity to school

Offender convicted in 2019 of charges related to sex assault and child pornography

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read